Rebels flying high ahead of the Hurricanes

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Monday, April 11, 2016    Getty Images

Having come off a sound win over the Jaguares, the Hurricanes are still improving and there was much they could do to lift their competiveness for the programme ahead which includes the Chiefs, the Lions and Sharks (away) and the Reds.


Assistant coach John Plumtree said: "Hopefully we take a step in the right direction this week," he said.

The Rebels would have high confidence coming into the game. Before last weekend's bye they had their win over the Waratahs.

"We know it is going to be a massive task for us. The Aussie Conference is wide open and they know that beating us would be a step in the right direction so we will be expecting a really tough match over there.

The Hurricanes would be looking to be a little more clinical in creating, and taking, opportunities.

There was continuing work to be done in containing the driving lineouts of opponents, as the Jaguares showed but Plumtree was happy with the side's scrum.

"Some of our cleanout work wasn't quite as accurate as we wanted it to be but it was a big pack and we're not the biggest pack in the world so it was good effort.

"There's a lot of room for improvement, we didn't start that well with a tough game away against the Brumbies and then the Highlanders, two good sides but we've won ever since.

"That's been good for our confidence and it's keeping us on track with the top teams in the competition but we know we've got to improve a fair bit to compete with those sides who are dominating the top of the ladder at the moment," he said.

The Rebels are also working on their next block of three games against the Hurricanes, Cheetahs and Blues.

Wing Dom Shipperley said the next three games were a defining period for the side.

"There's a little bit of pressure but not too much because we know that we can get the job done," he said on the Rebels website,

"They'll throw the ball around a lot, history tells us that's what they like to do, I think it's going to be a defensive challenge for us," he said.

"Also a challenge for us will be if we can keep attacking the way we've been, especially the way we did in the first half against the Waratahs."

The Rebels' efforts were acknowledged when they had 11 players attend the Wallabies camp in Sydney last week, a record for the side.